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Sending the Wrong Message to Children

October 14, 1990

Barbara Koh's article of Sept. 30, 1990, regarding the "Ouster of the Temperance Crusader," was accurate, but it lacked a description of the tenor of the meeting.

As the article pointed out, Trisha Roth has been waging a battle against alcohol on the grounds of public schools, particularly the elementary school involved in this case.

There was an incident earlier this year in which wine was sold on the grounds of an elementary school, and she was at that time unable to prevent its sale.

What wasn't mentioned during the meeting is that she made several attempts through all the procedural channels available to her to prevent the sale of this alcohol, but was unsuccessful. She then did what she said she would do if the wine was not removed from sale.

As a result of this, there was an incredible and inappropriate reaction by the Beverly Hills P.T.A. The meeting in which she was ousted had all the elements of a kangaroo court.

One sympathetic member of the P.T.A. attempted to summarize the events that had brought about this meeting, but was refused by the other members.

Speakers were allowed only two minutes to speak; one was stopped in mid-sentence while she was reading a letter. Another woman then volunteered her two minutes so that the letter could be finished.

Trisha Roth, although the subject of the onslaught, was never recognized or allowed to speak on her own behalf.

One teacher pleaded to say a few words of compassion; however, he was drowned out by the other members of the P.T.A. The vote was carried out quickly, and the obvious gloating among the successful members of the P.T.A. was sad to witness.

What is the result? A lone pediatrician and mother of four confronted the P.T.A. for improperly selling alcohol on elementary school grounds, and she was ousted from the P.T.A.

This is clearly the wrong signal to send to our children.

ANDREW ROTH

Beverly Hills

Editor's note: Andrew Roth is Trisha Roth's husband.

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